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Caterpillars on brassicas

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I don't want to use harmful pesticides in my garden but last year the leaves of my radishes were almost totally eaten by cabbage white caterpillars. While this wasn't disastrous for the radishes as they were more or less ready to pick I don't want it to happen to leaf crops this year. Can anyone suggest anything to keep the butterflies from laying their eggs on my brassicas?



I have heard that you have to painstakingly check every day and remove and kill any caterpillars, or wipe the eggs off with fingers before they hatch. There is an insecticide but I cant remember the name of it , sorry

22 Jan, 2009


When you have planted your brassicas cover them with garden fleece this will not stop your plants growing but will stop butterflies laying their eggs

22 Jan, 2009


I agree with Bridgey...either use fleece to cover them or use a fine garden netting. If you use netting you must make sure that any leaves dont come into contact with the netting otherwise the litte devils will still lay their eggs....

22 Jan, 2009


I would use netting, a good idea to keep the leaves from contacting the net is to make a tent structure. Place canes at 12" intervals along the bed, tie a strong wire along the canes in a straight line, winding the wire round the canes as you go, place the net over the top and secure it with horticultural metal pegs along the edge, make sure it is secured far enough away from the plant. Leave enough netting at the sides so you can make it bigger and if needs be use 2 lines of canes and wire to create a box effect. If you really want to deter any pests, then soak the net in a concoction of garlic and vinegar, I use garlic paste, this would put anyone off, mind you isn't that a new salad dressing I've just invented!! LOL

23 Jan, 2009


I believe there is something called butterfly netting on the market - I plan to use it come the time - I had terrible trouble with catapillars on my sprouts last summer!!

Andrea - I wonder if the garlic masks the smell of the cabbage?

23 Jan, 2009


There is Sid...a company called Harrod Horticultural sell 5mm guage netting specilly for the job...all different lengths..

24 Jan, 2009


I think it might mask the smell sid, it that a good or bad thing, it may be a good way of disguising the smell of the growing cabbages from the butterflies?

25 Jan, 2009


Thanks for that Milky :-)

Andrea - maybe a good thing for the cabbages but a bad thing for the neighbours? lol.

26 Jan, 2009


I suppose it depends on whether you prefer the smell of cabbage or garlic!! I really don't think the smell will be that bad lol

26 Jan, 2009


Many thanks everyone, much appreciated

26 Jan, 2009


Cover with net curtains from a charity shop but dont let them touch the plant.

31 Jan, 2009

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